The Role of the Postal and Delivery Sector in a Digital Age
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The Role of the Postal and Delivery Sector in a Digital Age

Edited by Michael A. Crew and Timothy J. J. Brennan

This volume, the result of the 21st Conference on Postal and Delivery Economics (Ireland, 2013), describes the continuing problem of the decline of the postal sector in the face of electronic competition and offers strategies for the survival of mail services in a digital age.
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Chapter 11: Delivering the goods to households: would further regulation help or hinder?

John Hearn


The purpose of this chapter is to identify how European retailers, postal and courier express parcel operators and their customers will be affected by new distance selling regulations effective June 2014, and whether there is a need for further regulation of the parcel operations of parcel operators as the European Commission envisages in its Green Paper ëAn integrated parcel delivery market for the growth of e-commerce in the EUí (European Commission, 2012). Section 2 sets out the historical background. The current state of play, based on case studies of how major European retailers are seizing the opportunities presented by developments in e-commerce, and the impact this has on postal and express parcel services, is summarized in Section 3. Section 4 summarizes existing measures to protect the consumer; considers the likely impact of the Consumer Rights Directive (2011) effective June 2014; and addresses the European Commissionís proposition that further regulatory intervention may be necessary. Section 5 considers whether extending the scope of ex ante regulation of parcel markets needs to be extended to facilitate the evolution of e-commerce. Section 6 sets out the reasons for the authorís conclusion that any extension of ex ante regulation would be a poor substitute for the current competitive and innovative market.

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